Signs of termite infestation

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Signs of termite damage

Termite infestation is usually not apparent until severe damages have incurred. They live in dark, humid and protected environment, which make them so hard to find - until it’s too late.

As termites devour their way through wood from the inside, it can be rather challenging to detect a termite infestation but there are some tell-tale signs that indicate their presence.

What does termite damage look like?

How do I know if I have termites? Your first clue to a termite problem may be small flying insects – known as termite Swarmers - flying near your windows and leaving behind their discarded wings. This phenomenon generally occurs in the spring time.

However, termites are active all year round, and as termite swarmers look very similar to flying ants, correct identification is critical as part of a professional customized solution.

Termites are secretive pests and spotting them can prove to be very tricky. They can live undetected in hollow doors and wall voids for many years.

Apart from spotting termite swarmers in the spring, another obvious indicator of their presence is the damage they inflict on properties. To actually tell if you have termites in your home, it is often easier to look for the early damage signs they can typically cause.

Here are a few common signs of termites

  • Mud tubes on wall - Subterranean termites build shelter tubes made of mud, dirt and debris in order to travel to and fro the food source without being seen. These tubes are about the size of a coin and are usually found on exterior and interior walls leading up to the entry points of the building.

  • Sightings of termite swarmers (flying termites) or discarded wings – Usually the first sign of infestation noticed by property owners are the presence of swarmers or alates. Another common indication is the remnants of discarded wings on windowsills and floors. While they may quickly disappear after they found their mating partner, the identical and disembodied wings are sure signs of an indoor termite swarm.

  • Papery or hollow sounding timber - Termites usually consume woods from the inside out, leaving a thin veneer of timber or paint. So when you knock or tap on an area that has termite damages, it will sound hollow or papery due to parts (or all) of the timber having been eaten away.

  • Tight fitting door or hard to open window - As termites devour timber, their excrement or ‘mud’ creates a protective environment that traps heat and moisture. This causes timber to swell, making it harder to open or close the infested windows and doors.

  • Tunnels in the wood - Also known as 'galleries' which are quite difficult to see from the outside.

  • Termite droppings - After consuming wood, dry wood termites often leave behind brown-coloured and grainy faecal mounds. These faecal pellets are usually found beneath the infested wood.

  • Floor damage - Termites can damage laminate flooring and even skirting boards. Affected flooring may blister and sag in certain areas and checking underneath the flooring may help to uncover termite activity. You can also check if your floor feels more spongy and perhaps springs more than usual.

  • Wall damage - Look for unexplained cracks on internal walls. As termites consume cellulose found in timber within walls, the visible cracks could be a sign of termite activity inside.

  • Ceiling damage - Wooden ceilings, beams, architraves and rafters in attics are just as much at risk of termite damage as wooden structures located nearer ground level. Look for cracks on ceilings and cornices.

  • Foundation damage - The type of foundation your property is built on, has a big impact on how easy it may be for termites to gain entry in search of food. Although a lot of foundations nowadays are made of concrete - and termites do not eat concrete -  they are able to squeeze into any crack within these concrete blocks and from there gain access to floor joists, which are still made out of wood. If you are building an extension, laying a chemical termite barrier beneath the concrete slab in order to prevent termites from traveling through foundation cracks. Homes with crawl spaces appear to be at greater risk of damage as their foundations are still traditionally made out of wood.

  • Garden damage -  Decking and wooden fence posts in your garden are at great risk of termites. Long-term damage could lead to collapse. Termite-treated wood or metal posts, can help to avoid this problem. Termites may also damage trees, leading to branches falling off.

  • Damaged Roof Tiles - Access moisture in your home due to loose, broken or damp roof tiles can attract termites. Broken roof tiles are a great source of moisture, which will attract termites and allow them access further inside your home. Once inside, termites are able to maneuver through a property easily and attack and eat away at wood components in all locations. Make it a habit to replace any damaged or water-logged roof tiles to avoid make your roof a haven for termites.

Have you seen these signs?

Termites eat 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. This means they are constantly consuming wood and damaging it. If left untreated, termites can weaken the wood within your home leading to costlier damages. 

Call us today at 1800 212 212 5 or contact us online to arrange for a termite inspection for your home or business.


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